Bay View Students Get a Close-Up View of the Nation’s Capital
With the eyes of the nation focused on Washington, D.C. November 6 - Election Day – a group of Bay View students actually had an opportunity to see the city first-hand and to experience exactly what the District is like as a hotly-contested presidential race approached its exciting conclusion.
The students were in Washington as part of Project Close Up, a week-long program that brings students from across the nation together to provide insight into the workings of our federal government. Through seminars, mock Congresses and elections, interaction with guest speakers from both the media and government, and tours of national museums and well-known (as well as some lesser-known) monuments, participants are able to gain a deeper, more practical understanding of the challenges and issues facing the United States.
"Close Up is a program that allows students to share opinions with others from all over the globe,” said Rachel Simoneau of Coventry, one of Bay View’s participants. “History was remembered, the present analyzed, and the future discussed with members of our own generation as we explored our nation's Capitol.”
Thirty Bay View students (the experience is open exclusively to juniors) participated in this year’s program. “Bay View has been involved in Close Up for thirty years,” said Dennis Kennedy of Johnston, a member of the History Department and director of the program at the Bay, “and it remains enormously popular today. “Bay View is currently the only Catholic high school in Rhode Island offering the program to students."
Kennedy, who accompanied the group along with History Department Chair Diane Morel described what he views as one of the chief benefits provided by Close Up. “The program brings together students from all over the nation to explore various issues of the day and it’s eye-opening for Rhode Islanders to discuss political and social topics with students from Texas, Alaska, or Utah - and to see just how differently some of their fellow Americans view these issues.”
Bay View students also had an opportunity to tour the Capitol and to see the House of Representatives, as well as the old House, Senate, and Supreme Court chambers. In addition, the group met with Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, who answered questions and discussed various topics of the day with them.
Any junior in good standing academically is eligible to participate in the Close Up program; plans for next year’s trip will be unveiled in May.
The following Juniors participated in the Program:
Andrea Haddad Rehoboth MA
Paige Monk Rehoboth MA
Stephanie Labib Swansea MA
Laura Poulton Westport MA
Devan Miller Bristol RI
Sally Holtz Barrington RI
Alia Trefrey Bristol RI
Emily Geoffroy Bristol RI
Madison DaCosta Bristol RI
Rachel Simoneau Coventry RI
Caitlin Ponko Cranston RI
Catherine Benetti Cranston RI
Emily Sulanowski Cranston RI
Gabriella DiNobile Cranston RI
Shannon Vallande Cranston RI
Alison Maruszczak East Greenwich RI
Alexandra Scala East Providence RI
Corinne Harvey East Providence RI
Meaghan Whittum East Providence RI
Rebecca Ortiz Lincoln RI
Alexandra Indeglia North Kingstown RI
Christiana Layman North Kingstown RI
Meghan Cross North Providence RI
Moriah Garzone North Smithfield RI
Elyse Dunbar Pawtucket RI
Kendall Magill Pawtucket RI
Anne Schreck Providence RI
Katherine Schreck Providence RI
Lili Visgilio Providence RI
Cori Sullivan Tiverton RI